Showing posts from April, 2018

Vardar squeezes past Kiel, advances to CL Final Four tournament

Macedonian and European champions Vardar has advanced to the EHC Champions League Final Four tournament after squeezing past Germany's Kiel on away goals.
Vardar lost 28:27 in Skopje on Sunday but advanced to the Final Four for the second year running after beating Kiel in the first leg 29:28.
In a tight match in front of a packed Jane Sandanski hall, no team led by more than three goals. The guests managed to take the lead in the dying seconds, but Vardar held on.
Vuko Borozan was Vardar's leading scorer with six goals, followed by Luka Cindric with five.
French trio PSG, Nantes and Montpellier join Vardar at the Final Four tournament in Cologne on May 26-27.

Popular Macedonian journalist gets his website taken down

Milenko Nedelkovski, one of the most prominent Macedonian journalists has had all of his social media profiles blocked by the SDS’ Ministry of Interior led by Oliver Spasovski.
According to the criminal junta currently acting as “Government” in Macedonia, Nedelkovski’s cardinal sin were not his frequent opinions where he opposes EU and NATO, but the truth bomb he delivered in an interview with Russian State TV “Rossiya 24” where he opined that the criminal junta is just an extension of the American Deep State through its CIA operative in the country, Jess Baily and its EU vassals who control not just Macedonia’s foreign, but domestic policies as well.
Few days after his interview, Nedelkovski lost his personal platform, in addition all of his social media access was first blocked, and then removed.

We know Milenko is a frequent visitor here, so a recommendation for our friend. – You did well by registering .org domain, because your .mk went away pretty quickly. Never host…

Oxford Professor Joins MHRMI’s Call to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

In a speech on April 15th, 2018, as reported in the Athens newspaper ‘Kathimerini’, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Greece and Turkey to improve their relations and also stated that their current difficulties which have led to a military fatality last week are not a matter for NATO. At first sight this is a reasonable point of view, from a distinguished international figure and is a view that should be respected. But it is also bound to raise the issue in people’s minds, ’What is NATO actually for’ when two NATO members in the eastern Mediterranean region may be edging towards a wider conflict, in the view of many observers. It is against this background that the hapless Macedonian and Greek Foreign Ministers are continuing their weary rigmarole of staged meetings, where all that is on the table are a series of name possibilities, most of which have been around for ten years of more, and all of which offend major opinion constituencies in both countries.
If tensions…

Macedonia blocks bank accounts of Kazandol project investors

The bank accounts of Copper Investments (COPIN), the investor in Macedonia’s Kazandol mining project via its subsidiary Sardich MC, have been blocked since April 12 and the company’s employees are not receiving their salaries, local media reported.
Copper Investments is the owner of Sardich MC company, reportedly set up with British and Ukrainian capital, which started developing the Kazandol mining complex in southern Macedonia. However, the Macedonian government decided on March 27 to annul the concession agreement on the exploration of copper, gold and silver at the site, claiming the concessionaire had breached the agreement.
In an open letter to media, employees of the companies said they will start a protest if the situation with the blocked accounts continues and they do not receive their wages, broadcaster TV21 reported on April 28.
Another 250 people employed in other firms which are subcontractors to the mining project are in the same situation.
Deputy Prime Minister Koco A…

Solution to name issue can be reached by June EU summit: Zaev tells RFE/RL

We have to be careful and creative in finding a solution to the name issue. Timeframe is very important for making decisions, PM Zoran Zaev said in Sunday’s interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service.
"Most probably the final decision [on a name change] will be tied to the vote by Macedonia, by its citizens, on handing over some sovereignty to the European Union, on becoming an EU member -- something that we want to see. Then this has to be reflected in the constitution. This is the likely way for a solution to be found, because as you may know Greece is seeking a change of our constitution with regard to the name change. I am convinced that with creativity a solution can be found," he told.
Asked whether he is still optimistic that the problem we have with Greece over name issue will resolved by the EU summit in June, he said he is optimistic and believes that optimism leads him and helped him a lot to look bravely, attentively and essentially to this serious process. “It …

Eight companies decided to invest in Macedonia: Zaev tells RFE/RL

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Sunday’s interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service that eight foreign companies made decisions to invest in Macedonia and are awaiting confirmation from the parent companies to sign the contracts.
“We signed 10 contracts with foreign investors in ten months, and additional negotiation teams of eight companies decided to invest in Macedonia and are awaiting confirmation from parent companies to authorize them to sign the contracts. We are also negotiating with 200 companies. And probably this is not only our success, it is something that the previous government started but we have only upgraded and developed,” Zaev said in the interview.
Zaev hopes that projected growth of 3.2 percent is attainable, if 65 to 70 percent of the announced capital investments will be realised.

Macedonia issues 30-year bonds for first time

The Macedonian Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday the introduction of 30-year state treasury bonds for the first time.

The country sold 19.5 million euro (around 24 million U.S. dollars) bonds at an interest rate of 4.85 percent.

This is a signal for investor confidence in the Macedonian economy, the Finance Ministry said, revealing that investor demand is twice what the country has issued.

Investors are private pension companies and insurance companies, the ministry added.

"Macedonia's economy is back on track as the economic indicators point out. This is an indication that the Macedonian economy is now aiming for a higher level," Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski said.

In March 2012, 92 percent of issued state treasury bonds in Macedonia were short-term, whereas 8 percent were long-term. In March 2018, the ratio was 40 percent short-term bonds versus 60 percent in the long run.

Macedonia and Iran pledge to boost trade cooperation

Businessmen from Iran consider Macedonia a gateway to the region and Europe in general. On the other hand, due to its central location and geo-strategic importance sharing borders with dozen countries, Iran offers a myriad of opportunities for the companies in Macedonia.
This was stated Thursday by Gholamhossein Shafei, head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, at a business forum in the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.
Trade exchange between the countries, he said, is symbolic and an initiative should be launched to facilitate visa regime and to sign treaties to facilitate customs procedures.
"It is necessary to use existing capacities in order to stimulate relations between the two countries," Shafei said adding Macedonia last year imported commodities from Iran in amount of $4.76 million while exporting goods estimated at $401,000.
The Iranian chamber of commerce consists of over 60 members, 34 local chambers and more than 200 associations …

Ivanov-Kitarovic: Bilateral issues to be solved in parallel with Euro-integration process

Macedonia and Croatia have exceptionally friendly relations and no open issues. Croatia is a great champion of Macedonia's EU and NATO integration, while open issues with other countries should not stand in the way but solved in parallel with the accession talks, agreed President Gjorge Ivanov and Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic after a meeting in Skopje on Thursday.
"We salute the European Commission recommendation for the opening of Macedonia's EU accession talks and Croatia will do everything in its power for a decision on the start of negotiations in June," Grabar Kitarovic told the joint press conference.
According to her, open bilateral issues must be solved in parallel with the Euro-integration process.
"I believe maturity and respect of international law should be demonstrated, leaving the two countries to find the solution by themselves, without imposing one from the outside," added Grabar Kitarovic in reference to the name issue.

Stoltenberg: It's not up to Russia to decide about Macedonia's NATO accession

It's only up to Macedonia and the 29 NATO members to make decisions about the country's membership into the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
At a news conference a day ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, when asked to comment on remarks of the Russian Ambassador to Macedonia that the country could become 'a legitimate target' in times of conflict as soon as it joined the Alliance, the NATO Secretary General responded: "The whole idea that Russia will not accept some countries to join NATO is an idea of spheres of influences where powerful forces control smaller states. It contradicts everything NATO stands for."
According to him, it is the right of every nation to pave its own path and security treaties since it is 'a fundamental principle for NATO.' Russia, Stoltenberg said, has pledged to follow the principle according to several agreements, including the 1974 Helsinki Accords. 
"It is up to Skopje to decide about its …

Vajgl: EU may give Macedonia negotiations date as soon as this summer

Special Rapporteur for Macedonia in the European Parliament Ivo Vajgl, in an interview for MIA, said that there is a real chance that EU leaders give Macedonia a green light and a date for negotiations as soon as this summer.
He pointed out that the EP has long pushed for the negotiations and the name solution to go together as a package deal if the dispute with Greece was not settled by then.
Now it's the European Council’s turn to have its say," Vajgl said. “I believe that enough progress has been made; there is no question about it. But, of course, it greatly depends on the success of the name negotiations with Greece. Right now, the negotiators keep us in suspense regarding any agreement details, which is wise of them. It's not a good idea to publish biased information, as it may mislead the public. It's best for the negotiations to be confidential.
He pointed out that, as a rapporteur, he has always demanded and received support from the EP to enable EU negoti…

Athens made concessions, now Skopje should follow suit – Greece’s gov’t spokesman

Greece has made concessions in the name talks and now Skopje should do what’s necessary for reaching an agreement, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing on Wednesday, MIA reports from Athens.
Asked about his expectations from today’s fresh round of name talks in Vienna,Tzanakopoulos reiterated Greece’s positions for possible settlement of Athens-Skopje row over Macedonia’s name, i.e. a compound name and its overall use at home and abroad (erga omnes).
‘These two preconditions for settling the dispute are logical and righteous for a mutually acceptable agreement that will bring about a solution to the problem that has been tormenting both countries for over 25 years,’ Tzanakopoulos said.

Nimetz: Both sides committed to solution, talks to continue

UN envoy Matthew Nimetz said after a meeting with Macedonian and Greek Foreign Ministers, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias respectively, that they held intensive talks during which both sides showed mutual respect.
"Both sides are committed to reaching a solution and the process will continue in the coming weeks," said after the meeting that took place in the UN Office in Vienna.
He added these meetings have intensified in recent months, while issues discussed are already familiar.
FMs Dimitrov and Kotzias failed to give media statements after the three-hour talks.
Earlier in the day, Zoran Zaev said he expected a step forward to be made at the Vienna meeting.
There is progress that gives us a reason to believe that a step forward could be also made today in Vienna. I believe in the creativity of both FMs and their teams. I and (Greek PM Alexis) Tsipras also offer support and encouragement for finding constructive, creative solution that would literary meet the expectatio…

French Ambassador unveils WWI monument in Bitola

A monument made of granite from Macedonia and stone from France with the names inscribed of Macedonian men and women - victims of the First World War - was unveiled Wednesday in Bitola.
The monument was created by high school students from France who cooperated with their peers in Bitola. The memorial has been erected to testify about the events of WWI and the Macedonian Front.
"It is a monument to raise awareness about peace and the joint commitment from the French to the Macedonian Front," France's Ambassador Christian Thimonier said. "The stone from Caen, France, symbolizes the origin of the soldiers. The idea to inscribe the names of Macedonians aimed at casting light on the sufferings of civilians. Bitola is a place for us to meet and share and to research the Macedonian Front," he said at a ceremony to unveil the monument along the high school students from France and Macedonia at the French Military Cemetery in Bitola.
French MPs Bertrand Sorre and Greg…

Robertson, Solana, Le Roy, Ischinger and Gelbard as the “Ohrid Group” will help with the EU and NATO

On a joint press conference on tuesday, Zoran Zaev and former NATO Secretary General, Lord George Robertson, promoted the “Ohrid Group” in support of Macedonia on its path to NATO and EU membership
There are members in this group who have made a mark with their diplomatic careers and supported our efforts to build a democratic, stable and prosperous country. They are here to support our membership in the EU and NATO”, said Zaev.
The group, with the exception of Lord George Robertson, includes former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and distinguished diplomats such as Christopher Guide, Robert Gelbard, Allen Le Roy, Wolfgang Ischinger, Diamond Wilson and Zoran Čičak.
Robertson said it had been 17 years since he had last spoken at a news conference in Macedonia, and pointed out that the name “Ohrid Group” was chosen because the city has great significance for the country, since t…

Macedonia: 8-million-year-old elephant-like remains believed to pre-date the mammoth found

Paleontologists from Bulgaria and Macedonia are excavating the fossilized remains of a prehistoric elephant believed to pre-date the mammoth, after its bones were discovered accidentally by a man working in a field.
Scientists at the Natural Science Museum of Macedonia and the Natural History Museum of Sofia said Tuesday they began excavating the skeleton in Dolni Disan in central Macedonia last Friday. They estimated the animal would have weighed about 10 tons and have been about 50 years old at the time of its death, roughly 8 million years ago during the Miocene epoch.
Biljana Garevska of the Natural Science Museum in Skopje said the fossil was of one of the elephant's ancestors which roamed the region at a time when it was covered by African-like savannah.


Sputnik: UN Sponsors Greece-Macedonia Meeting in Push to Resolve Name Dispute

The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia are slated to meet later this week under the auspices of the United Nations in a fresh attempt to resolve the so-called name dispute, which has been an obstacle to Macedonia’s efforts to join NATO and the European Union, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Monday, cited by Sputnik.
"I want to flag to you a meeting that will take place in Vienna this Wednesday. Matthew Nimetz, the personal envoy of the secretary-general, will meet jointly with Nikos Kotzias, the minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Nikola Dimitrov, the minister of foreign affairs of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and that will be at the UN office in Vienna."
The push to speed up Macedonia’s potential entry in NATO by the time of the alliance’s summit scheduled for July 11-12 in Brussels has gained momentum after the change of government of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party with a coalition of the Socialdemocratic Union (SDSM) of Prime Minis…

EU’s Hahn wishes new name for Macedonia in two weeks

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn expects the name issue between Macedonia and Greece to be resolved within the next two weeks.
– I am optimistic that in the next two weeks a solution will be found for the name or at least a solution that will pave the way for starting accession negotiations with Macedonia. I think that everyone agrees that it would be useful for the country and for the entire region of the Western Balkans, Hahn told the Foreign Policy Committee of the European Parliament.
Hahn pointed out that Macedonia successfully overcame the deep political crisis and made progress in implementing reforms and establishing good neighborly relations particularly with Bulgaria, but warned that much remains to be done, MIA reports.

Nikola Dimitrov: "we are determined to make it"

Nikola Dimitrov, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, has told parliamentarians in Strasbourg of a “new positive momentum” in his country as it emerges from political crisis and seeks EU membership.
I can say with strong confidence that we have achieved a real breakthrough, progress that we can be proud of,” he said, citing positive assessments from the EU and others. “The situation in the country has turned in a positive direction.
Mr Dimitrov listed the steps his government was taking to build good relations with neighbouring countries, reform the judiciary and the intelligence services, improve media freedom, fight corruption and foster inter-ethnic integration, among other things.
Referring to promising contacts with Greece over the name issue, he added: “I believe there is a genuine interest on the part of both governments to finally resolve the difference over the name. In doing so, Council of Europe values and principles should lead us towards achieving dignified c…

Significant decrease in the average net wage in Macedonia

The average monthly net salary paid per employee in February 2018 was MKD 23,158. This is a significant decrease compared to the previous month, January when the State Statistical Office reported that the average net salary amounted to MKD 24,025.
The Ministry of Finance fell short of explaining the reason for this serious decrease in the average salary of over MKD 850 or somewhere around 3.5%.
Last month, at a press conference, the Ministry of Finance said that the average salary went over MKD 24,000.

Export value rises 13% in first three months of 2018

Goods estimated at half a billion euros have been exported in the first three months of 2018 by the companies currently operating in the free economic zones in Macedonia. Johnson Matthey, the British company that opened plants in the Skopje industrial zone, is singled out as being the largest exporter of goods.
“The positive trend of exporting from the technological and industrial zones is resuming. Foreign direct investments have completely altered the structure of Macedonian export. Exchange has become more balanced, the country exports commodities abroad that have higher added value. Export value in the first three months of this year rose by 13 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Export value in the first three months exceeded €552 million,” officials from the Directorate for Technological and Industrial Development Zones told MIA.
Existing foreign investments in the zones, they said, whose commodities are exported most in European countries, have completely changed the…

Car import declines; market soon to be flooded with used cars from Europe

Macedonia imports fewer cars with each coming year. The Customs Administration shows that 2,615 fewer cars were registered last year than in 2016, and a drastic 31,033 fewer than in 2010 when the preferential import of used cars was allowed. 
Used cars still make for the largest number of cars imported, but their number has been decreasing significantly year by year. When comparing 2017 and 2016, there were 2,925 fewer used cars imported last year and 419 more new cars. 
The downward trend is a result of both diminished interest and the low living standard.
Used car importers say that people are buying fewer cars, and the cars that are most sought after are those with prices below EUR 3,000.
"In uncertain times, people don't want to spend much," used car dealers say.
Opel Corsa and Volkswagen Polo cars are sold the most. The price for a Volkswagen Golf 5 ranges from EUR 4,200 to 4,500 depending on the year of manufacture. A 2007 Opel Corsa goes for around EUR 3,100, an…

UN confirms new round of name talks in Vienna

The UN mediator in Macedonia-Greece negotiations on settling the name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, will meet the Foreign Ministers of both countries, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias respectively, on 25 April  in Vienna.
The meeting is part of United Nations' ongoing efforts to assist the sides in finding a mutually acceptable solution to the 'name' issue, the UN said Monday in a press release.

Vardar beats Kiel in first leg of CL quarters

Vardar beat Germany's Kiel away 29:28 in the first leg of the handball champions league quarterfinals on Sunday.
Vardar took an early lead and held a two-goal advantage at halftime (13:11) but Kiel came back and took a three-goal lead midway through the second period. However, the European champions did not crumble under pressure and scored the winning goal in the final seconds.
Moraes, Stoilov and Cupic were Vardar's leading scorers with five each, while Vujin, Bilyk and Ekberg scored four each for Kiel.
The return leg will be played in Skopje on April 29.

Year of the Monkey to make its world premiere at Moscow Film Festival

Year of the Monkey, directed and written by Vladimir Blaževski, will make its world premiere at the Moscow International Film Festival on Monday.
The Moscow International Film Festival is the second oldest film festival in the world. It was founded in 1935 and is ranked on the 'A' list of film festivals.
Year of the Monkey will be shown as part of the festival's official Special Screenings selection today at 6 pm and tomorrow at 4 pm.
The movie had its Macedonian premiere last Thursday at the 21st Skopje Film Festival. It was financed by Euroimages and shot at 80 locations throughout Macedonia in 2016 as a co-production between Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Kosovo.
Igor Angelov plays the lead role, and the cast includes actors from Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia.
Year of the Monkey is currently showing in Cineplexx theaters.

NBRM presents first polymer banknotes

The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia (NBRM) presented Monday the first polymer banknotes in denomination of Denar 10 and Denar 50, which will be put into circulation as of May 15.
The difference between polymer and paper notes is the material used for their printing, whereat polymer banknotes are made from polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene.
Instead of watermark included in paper notes, polymer banknotes will contain a transparent window in which all recognizable elements from their original design. A stylized drawing of a peacock is presented at the denomination of Denar 10, while engraving of an early Byzantine coin is included in denomination of Denar 50.

Polymer banknotes contain security thread, micro text visible only with a magnifying glass, double registration mark and hidden image, including also UV feature. Blind or visually impaired people will be able to identify banknotes due to a special feature built in to help tell notes apart.
According to NBR…

New highway section Demir Kapija – Smokvica opens

New highway section Demir Kapija – Smokvica, which is part of the Pan-European Corridor X, will be officially opened Monday.
The highway section is 28km long and total cost is estimated at €270 million of which €107 are provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), €130 million from European Investment Bank, €45 million are EU grant and €6 million are funds from budget of the Republic of Macedonia.
The highway includes two interchanges, including one at Miravci and one at Smokvica, two twin-tube tunnels, six bridges, six overpasses and 2 underpasses.
Highway section Demir Kapija-Smokvica will have two pay toll stations, one at Gevgelija and one at Demir Kapija, which are expected to be completed in 8 months.
Greek company “Aktor” was selected as most preferred bidder among Italian consortium “Todini” and Turkish “Mapa” for construction of highway section Demir Kapija – Smokvica.


Macedonian gov't, EIB to provide 20 mln USD for improving sewer, water supply systems

The Macedonian government and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest around 17 million euros (20 million U.S. dollars) in the construction of sewer and water supply systems in Macedonia, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Saturday.
Zaev confirmed that all municipalities will be included in this investment. This investment intends to bring equitable development, in rural areas as well and will improve living standards.
Through the investment, the coverage of sewage and water systems will increase from the actual 18 percent to 40 percent.
"Our objective is that by the end of the government term, we could help local communities improve the percentage of coverage to the maximum," added Zaev.
Moreover, he announced that the budget would provide the sources to replace asbestos water pipes and to set up a fund for support of projects by the municipalities.
Macedonian Minister of Transport and Communications Goran Sugareski underlined that around 12 million euros …

Greek professors write a book to explain the Macedonian issue to Greeks

A professor and a historian in Greece have released a book, an 'easy read' in a question-and-answer format to try and solve some of the most prominent dilemmas involving Macedonia and the name dispute to the Greeks.
University professor Dimitris Hristopoulos and historian Kostis Karpozilos said they were inspired to write "10+1 Questions and Answers About The Macedonian Issue" after the protests organized to 'defend Macedonia'. The authors, amongst other things, elaborate issues related to the Macedonian language, Macedonian nation, the Macedonian Constitution, which have stirred interest recently in Greece, MIA's Athens correspondent reports.
"We came up with this idea because we believe that complex questions can have simple and logical answers. We wrote the book in the format of 10+1 questions and answers after we have tried to find out which are the 10 questions the people in Greece have, what are the reasons behind some of the 'truth' c…

Dimitrov and Kotzias will meet end of month

Government spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski confirmed that a new meeting between the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias will take place at the end of the month, but that the exact date has not yet been confrmed.
There will be a new meeting by the end of the month, and the date still needs to be confirmed between the foreign ministers. We are still great optimists, as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia have announced, we are looking for and expecting to find a solution that will be dignified for all citizens”, said Bosnjakovski at today’s press conference in Government.
Regarding the position of the Greek MFA that despite the EC recommendation for the start of negotiations, there is no time, the final decision is made by the EU Council where Greece can again block it if no solution to the name issue is found, said Bosnjakovski adding that the Council in the coming six months will need to confirm thi…

Macedonia getting closer to solving name row: Zaev tells AFP

Macedonia has never been closer to solving its 25-year name row with Greece, but even if it fails Skopje will continue to integrate with Europe, its premier says.
I believe that we have never had better circumstances to find a complete solution that will last for centuries and will remain forever,” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told AFP in an interview.
The long-running name dispute between Macedonia and EU-member Greece dates back to 1991 when Skopje declared independence following the collapse of communist Yugoslavia, AFP reported.
Athens objects to Macedonia’s name because it has its own northern province called Macedonia, and fears it may imply territorial ambitions.
If the dispute is not solved, the world will not end,” Zaev said.
We will bring Europe here to Skopje (the capital). And we will push an European agenda one way or another," 
Because of the dispute, Macedonia was forced to join the United Nations under the name the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

US human rights report singles out lack of judicial independence, torture, corruption in Macedonia

The US Department of State released its reports on human rights practices for 2017 with the report on Macedonia noting that the most significant human rights issues included reports of torture by prison guards, interference with privacy, violence against journalists, lack of judicial independence, corruption, and violence against LGBTI persons.
"The government took some steps to investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed abuses, including police officials guilty of excessive force, but impunity continued to be a widespread problem. Between April 15 and September 15, the Special Prosecutor’s Office, investigating allegations of corruption between 2008 and 2015, filed 18 indictments against 120 defendants, charged 168 criminal offenses, and opened seven investigations against 25 suspects. It also initiated 142 preliminary investigations into apparent criminal behavior relating to or arising from the content of illegally intercepted communications, reads the report.

Canellas will leave Skopje

The former German Bundesliga player Joan Canellas is about to leave Vardar Skopje. As several media correspondingly report like the Spanish sports paper `Marca` and the Hungarian paper `Nemzetisport` the backfield player will transfer to the Hungarian vice champion Pick Szeged despite of his contract that actually runs until 2019. The club confirmed it today.
Joan Canellas gained several international experience during his career as he was with Granollers, Barcelona, Ciudad Real and the licence follower Atletico Madrid. In 2013 he transferred into the German Bundesliga. First he was one season with the club of HSV Hamburg and then he decided to sign a contract with THW Kiel for another two years before heading on to Vardar Skopje afterwards. 
SOURCE: Handball News

Mogherini: Macedonia can settle name dispute by late June

The European Union's foreign policy chief says she believes Greece and Macedonia can overcome a long-standing name dispute by late June, clearing the way for the Balkan nation to start accession talks.
Federica Mogherini visited Macedonia and Albania on Wednesday, a day after recommending that both countries start membership talks.
In Skopje, she met with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and credited his government with implementing reforms that would "not have been imaginable 10 months ago."
Asked if she thought the name dispute could be resolved before EU leaders meet June 28-29, she said "yes, I think a result is possible."
Macedonia says it's willing modify its name to address Greek concerns of a potential territorial claim, but the two countries remain at odds over the need for a constitutional guarantee.

State Department: US supports the integration of Macedonia into the EU and NATO

The US State Department gives unreserved support for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic future, after the country received an unconditional recommendation from the European Commission to start EU membership negotiations.
Asked by MIA, the United States assessed the efforts of the new Macedonian government for deeper reforms and democratization of society, the State Department said the United States continues to work with Macedonia on these challenges.
“We are working with the Government to implement judicial reforms and the rule of law, freedom of the media and responsible governance. The United States remains a faithful friend and partner of Macedonia and we support the country’s Euro-Atlantic future, ” stated the State Department.
From there they add that they also give strong support to the renewed talks under the auspices of the UN on the name dispute of Macedonia and expect to resolve this long-standing cause of discord between Greece and Macedonia.
“We encourage the two countries to dem…


Cannabis oil available in pharmacies across Macedonia without prescription

Nine Vinica Fortress terracotta icons to be exhibited at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum

Time Travel: Skopje Antique Shops Are Full of Objects that Have Long Been Forgotten

Macedonian Government to ban protests with new law on public gatherings

Greek jets mount NATO practice flights over Macedonia